HALF MOON BAY (CBS SF) — Half Moon Bay officials announced they were reopening beach parking lot along the San Mateo County coastline, but also raised concerns late Thursday about the impact a weekend surge on out-of-town visitors could have on their community.
Those concerns were further reinforced by their experience over Memorial Day weekend.
“Memorial Day weekend on the coastside was, unfortunately, not a pleasant time for the people who live and work in Half Moon Bay,” official said in a press release. “With the crowds of visitors came reports of mounds of trash, cars parked haphazardly on neighborhood streets, people walking through sensitive habitat and erosion-susceptible areas and even using lawns as restrooms, beach-goers using the still-under-construction (and blocked-off) Poplar Beach access stairs and other careless behavior.”
Officials were hoping that reopening the parking lot which had remained shuttered during the three-day holiday weekend will ease some of those problems, but they remain weary.
“Along with the community members, the city of Half Moon Bay found these behaviors to be entirely unacceptable,” the officials said. “Additionally, the city’s first priority is to create the safest environment for both residents and visitors… It is hoped and expected that providing these services will alleviate some of the intensity of the problems during the influx of visitors last weekend.”
Officials remained beachgoers to maintain social distancing protocols. Specific to the beaches, the San Mateo County Health Order states that beaches are to be used only for running, walking, cycling, water sports or other form of physical activity.
The use or possession of umbrellas, shade structures, tents, BBQs and grills, coolers, chairs, hammocks and other items designed to sit or lounge were prohibited.